How Do You Solve A Problem Like Russia?

Let’s not beat around the bush. Russia has invaded the Ukraine, violating their sovereignty, breaking the treaty they signed and violating international rules of warfare. The Ukraine gave up their massive arsenal of nuclear weapons on the promise that the Russians would respect their sovereignty. That agreement is now dead.

The Russian excuse — that Crimea is ethnically Russian — is flimsy at best. Crimea is self-governing and is only 60% Russian. And Putin hasn’t really cared for the sovereignty of ethnic conclaves when they aren’t Russian (see Chechnya). His motivations are pretty plain: expand Russia and/or build a buffer zone of vassal states between Russia and Europe.

Frankly, I’m getting sick of this constant look into Russia’s motive and the unceasing slew of articles claiming that we need to see this from Russia’s perspective. Every aggressor in history has had his reasons. People don’t invade other countries for fun. What matters is what Putin has done, not what his motives were.

So what do we do about it? We don’t have a lot of options, barring a war. And I don’t think the Crimea is what we want to start World War 3 over. Zakaria proposes a few things, including kicking Russia out of the G-8. But I think the primary response has to be diplomatic. Whatever the result here, Russia’s neighbors have got be nervous. Now is the time to tighten those alliances and restart missile defense. I’m not sure if we should expand NATO to the Ukraine. A NATO alliance could prevent further aggression; it could also draw us into a war (or worse, not draw us into a war and collapse the entire concept of NATO).

Whatever our response is, we have to realize that we have a large aggressive nation in Eastern Europe that is devoted to slicing off chunks of their neighbors to consolidate their power. This may not quite be a cold war, but it requires us to create a bulwark against further expansion before this really does explode into World War 3. The good news is that we have a team at the State Department that can …

….

… oh, crap.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    Zakaria? Seriously? I read his stuff and normally think that everyone should do the exact opposite.

    Is he finally realizing that the sock-puppet regime of Jarrett/Obama isn’t make of sunshine, rainbows and unicorns?

    Thumb up 2

  2. Iconoclast

    …oh, crap.

    Precisely.

    It is precisely the utter weakness and fecklessness of our current Blowhard-in-Chief, with his idiotic “red lines” and other such nonsense, that has emboldened our enemies to make such moves. Across the globe, from Russia to Syria to Venezuala to the ME and beyond, the world is becoming ever more dangerous, thanks to Obama’s coddling of enemies, snubbing of allies, and utter lack of credibility.

    This Administration is an utter disaster, across the board.

    Thumb up 10

  3. AlexInCT

    This Administration is an utter disaster, across the board.

    I am now convinced that this administrations spinelessness will lead to a major war where many people, a lot of them Americans, will have to die. They are not not making policy according to how the real world works, but how they fantasize it should. Weakness, especially when accompanies by a giant ego and no ability to carry through, will beget problems. This is liberalism in a nutshell: people that can’t be bothered with how things work in the real world trying to force it to do what they want. It always goes wrong.

    Thanks Obama for another fundamental change. Man, I miss the cowboy, and that’s saying something.

    Thumb up 2

  4. hist_ed

    “They are not not making policy according to how the real world works, but how they fantasize it should.”

    Wow, so they are applying their economic theories to international relations?

    Thumb up 5

  5. hist_ed

    “The Ukraine gave up their massive arsenal of nuclear weapons on the promise that the Russians would respect their sovereignty. That agreement is now dead.”

    We should just declare both sides of the agreement dead and hand the Ukrainians 300 or so nukes.

    Shows by the way the idiocy of giving up military power in a dangerous neighborhood.

    Thumb up 4

  6. hist_ed

    Dang is there no edit button any more?

    Last one.

    “His motivations are pretty plain: expand Russia and/or build a buffer zone of vassal states between Russia and Europe.”

    The Crimea and Eastern Ukraine are not between Russia and the rest of Europe. They are Russia’s access to the Black Sea and thus the Mediterranean. Suez and the Atlantic and thus, far more important than any little buffer state. Russia will go to war to protect that access. The chance for the US to defuse this relatively easily has already passed. Putin is going to win this. The only question is how much damage we will punish him with. Probably very little given who is in the White House and how much energy the Russians sell to Europe.

    At some point, I bet that Ukrainians will start blowing up natural gas pipelines. Then the real shooting will start.

    Thumb up 3

  7. Section8

    Alex, I have to disagree. I don’t think Obama is to blame at this point. To me, the best option is to stay the hell out of it, and to basically make it clear this is an issue Western Europe should handle since it’s in their own back yard, rather than saber rattle with Russia. For us to get involved just makes us the focal point of the root cause of the problem, because that’s the mentality that is cool these days, not necessarily what is right or accurate. American lives will only be at risk if we get involved, and our reward will pretty much be fruitless. If Europe is concerned, they can do something, and if not then they don’t. That should be the message from the WH and nothing more. But for Obama to say stop it or else is not a good idea. What country is going to back him in any capacity? My guess is none. Maybe Great Britain, but it would be the government only, and they’d get shit for it from their people.

    Thumb up 3

  8. Hal_10000 *

    Putin isn’t done. Latvia and Estonia have Russian populations. Kaliningrad had no direct link to the mainland. I’m assuming it’s only a matter of time before he turns his eye northward.

    Thumb up 2

  9. AlexInCT

    Alex, I have to disagree. I don’t think Obama is to blame at this point. To me, the best option is to stay the hell out of it, and to basically make it clear this is an issue Western Europe should handle since it’s in their own back yard, rather than saber rattle with Russia.

    Where did you get the idea I advocated intervention? My point was that these losers have no fucking clue how the real world works. Obama should have fucking kept his mouth shut if he really was not going to do anything productive about this cluster fuck of a situation. Instead, as he has done countless times before, he talked like he had a big dick and would swing it every which way if people didn’t do what he wanted, then, when the shit hit the fan, he pouted and whined. He didn’t back up his rhetoric: he acted like a petulant, butt hurt child. That’s a recipe for disaster. The thing to have done is to not draw any line in the sand if you were just going to end up doing squat.

    Either back up the shit you are talking, or shut the fuck up. Talking tough, but then doing nothing, is absolutely going to send the wrong message to the rest of the thugs running the world. Putin read the pussy in the WH right and called his bluff. The problem is that with his giant fucking ego and his vindictive nature, Obama is bound to get pissed one of these times that his bluffing will be called out yet again, and then, the shit will hit the fan. Real fucking ugly like. This shit ain’t rocket science.

    Just so we are clear: I don’t think it is any of our business to fuck around with the Ukrainians and the Russians. The fucking EU caused this problem, and we should let them own the whole giant barrel load of shit it has created. And Obama should never have drawn yet another line in the sand that he was not going to hold to.

    Fucking amature hour at the WH.

    Thumb up 7

  10. Section8

    Just so we are clear: I don’t think it is any of our business to fuck around with the Ukrainians and the Russians. The fucking EU caused this problem, and we should let them own the whole giant barrel load of shit it has created. And Obama should never have drawn yet another line in the sand that he was not going to hold to.

    Alrighty I agree with you there.

    Thumb up 1

  11. Seattle Outcast

    You would think that President Jarrett and her sock puppet Obama would have had some sort of butt-pucker at this point, but I seriously doubt they are capable of comprehending what is going on.

    These sorts of things just aren’t part of the dialectic what is supposed to happen after they realigned our foreign policy to be more humble.

    Thumb up 3

  12. AlexInCT

    Funny how so many of the things Romney was lambasted and ridiculed for, by the left and their agents in the LSM, pointing out Obama had or would fuck things up, because he is inept, has bad ideas, or both,, turn out to be true, huh? In a world where the truth mattered these fucks would be pointing that out. Because they have to protect their investment however they not only take a giant bite out of the shit sandwich but with a grimace on their face try to tell you that you should also eat your fill, like they are doing, because it is delicious!

    What a joke.

    Thumb up 2

  13. Hal_10000 *

    We probably would have, I think. In general, starting a war right before the Olympics is not conducive to having them. In fact, I’m pretty sure he would have sent in troops weeks ago had the Olympics not been on.

    Thumb up 0

  14. hist_ed

    I really think that we should keep the Olympics far from politics. I also think the Olympic committee shouldn’t give the games to dictatorships.

    My brother was on the team in 1980. Boy was he pissed at Carter. Made a Reagan voter out of him.

    Thumb up 2

  15. Section8

    Wow hist ed, that’s pretty cool. I hope he was on the team in 84? If not that sucks if he only had one shot at it and couldn’t go? I mean just getting on the team is something though. I hope he found his way into one of the games.

    Thumb up 1